The RTA have announced that Burj Khalifa metro station will be closed tonight so you will need to use nearby metro stations if you want to get to and from the fireworks in downtown Dubai.
So tomorrow (1 March 2014) the last two stations on the first phase of the Dubai Metro (red and green lines) will open. These are two stations at the end of the green line – Jadaf and Creek. The stations themselves were completed quite some time ago ready for opening when they were required. Check out the location of the two new stations on the Dubai Metro Map.
The first stations opened on 9th September 2009 and so it has taken over 4 years to get the whole of the first phase stations to open. This was not the plan when the Metro was in the planning stages but once the global financial crisis hit a number of the stations were put on hold due to the fact that the developments around the stations the that Metro was there to support, were also put on hold. It was therefore deemed that it would not be cost effective to open those stations until such time as those developments were up and running and there was a requirement for the Dubai Metro at those locations.
So now, 4 years on and there are plans to extend the Dubai Metro even further, particularly after the success of the bid for Expo 2020. The green line is said to be extending into academic city and International City were there are massive communities to support of exactly the type of demographic who are likely to use the services of the Metro.
The aim of the Government of Dubai is still to decrease road usage and increase use of public transport which is shown by a number of initiatives that will be opening in the coming few years, the next of which will be the commencement of operations on the Dubai Tram network in November 2014.
The RTA will shortly be introducing 50 new touchscreens that will enable users of the Dubai Metro to get hold of information about their journey quickly and easily. At present one of the screens is located in Dubai Mall as an example of what is to come.
This is just one in a line of new innovations that the RTA has planned for the Dubai Metro and the public transport system in general. You can find more information about the new touchscreens here.
So the final station on the Dubai Metro Red Line opens today – the Energy station between Ibn Battuta and Danube. This is the last of the 29 stations to open on the red line since it started on 09/09/09.
The Energy station will serve more of the Jebel Ali community and will be served by the F44 Feeeder Bus which will also stop at Ibn Battuta as well as serving people who live in the Gardens Community. It will run every 20 minutes during peak hours and every 25 minutes for the rest of the day.
In another change to the red line services, peak hours on the Dubai Metro will start half an hour earlier at 6.30am on weekdays.
So the new walkway linking the Metro Station at Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa is now open so that you can comfortably walk from the station to the Mall without having to go outside. Previously it was necessary to either walk the approximately 1km to the mall from the station or else get a feeder bus to take you there. Now you can go straight there and this is likely to increase footfall in the Mall itself. The walkway has been under construction since last year and is 885m long.
In keeping with the usual habit of using memorable dates to open Dubai Metro stations and other connected projects, on 12 December 2012 one of the two remaining Dubai metro stations that has not yet opened, will be open to the public. This will be a great relief to the many people who work in the Jebel Ali Industrial area as it is finally that station that will open, 3 years after the first red line stations opened on 9/9/09.
However, the Jebel Ali Industrial station will not open under that name, as recently the naming rights were sold to the Danube Group in a continuation of the RTA offering up the stations for private company sponsorship. Danube station, as it will now be called, is expected to be used by many thousands of commuters every day whether they live or work in the JAFZA freezone which the station will serve. It is hoped that there will be a number of feeder buses, as there are with other Metro stations, that will help disperse passengers into JAFZA.
This is the second Metro station serving the Jebel Ali area (the other is Jebel Ali itself) and brings the total number of stations open on the red line to 28 of the 29 total (Energy station is the only one that has not opened yet).
If you are going to benefit from the opening of the new station please let us know your thoughts on this below.
When the idea of the Dubai Metro was first launched, the RTA came up with the idea to offer out to tender the naming rights for any of the Metro stations. This basically meant that if a company stumped up enough cash they would be able to call the metro station of their choosing by whatever name they liked (although I’m sure there were restrictions on the names that were chosen and that they were vetted by senior officials before just anything was allowed!).
In the early days quite a few companies investigated this possibility which seemed to come at quite a high cost, and deals were made on a number of the Dubai Metro stations like Nakheel and Emirates, two big names in Dubai. However, some of the more obvious stations were not named as people thought they should be. The most prominent of these was Khalid bi al Waleed station which essentially was at Burjuman mall. But it was rumoured that Burjuman did not want (or could not afford) the large fees that the RTA were charging for the naming rights. So at the time that the first tranche of stations opened in 2009, the name Burjuman Station was nowhere to be seen.
It may well be that some companies did not purchase the naming rights due to the fact that this was close to the point where the global financial crisis had hit Dubai and many companies were struggling. There could be little justification in paying out large sums of money for something that, although would spread the brand name, would not bring in any extra income. Marketing budgets had been cut and this was one thing that was likely to be hit.
The RTA never divulged how much companies had paid for the naming rights to the stations but it was thought that the numbers were large and the fact that they did not divulge the information seemed to confirm that.
Fast forward 3 years after the Metro opened and companies now have a clearer idea of their financial positions. So we now have two new station names. The first is the station I was referring to earlier, which finally has it’s appropriate name (albeit that Khalid bin al Waleed is a reasonably well known street but this is not a great name to get tourists, shoppers and other visitors to your mall), and will be renamed Burjuman Station. OK, so that helps us when we are travelling on the Metro to know where we are going!
The second name change, however, is one of those station names that makes you think – “Ok, so where on earth might that be located?”. This is a bugbear among travellers, in particular those who may not use the metro that often, as the new name of Jebel Ali Station is Danube Station – removing any indication of where that might be in Dubai.
The naming of the stations definitely puts money over common sense and consideration for travellers – but I guess the RTA have to recover as much in the way of costs as they can and this is one way of doing it.
So, do you agree that companies should be able to buy up the names of stations and call them what they like? I would be interested to hear your opinions below!
Work is well underway on the construction of the walkway that will link the Dubai Mall with the Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa Metro station nearby. At the moment the station is a kilometer or so away from the Mall and passengers are required to take a bus to get there. Once the walkway is built there will be a route directly to the Mall from the station that is under cover and air conditioned and it is expected that this will encourage more people to enter the mall from the Metro station.
Work is expected to be complete on the walkway by 2013.
Dubai World Trade Centre is a huge exhibition space that holds many world class and international trade fairs and exhibitions throughout the year. In addition, there are local Dubai based events often held there including Modesh City for Dubai Summer Surprises and the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championships.
Although there is parking available at Dubai World Trade Centre, by far the best way of getting there – particularly for the busy International Trade fairs – is by using the Dubai Metro. There is a dedicated stop for the Dubai World Trade Centre which gives you only a short walk (pretty much the same as the parking to be honest) to the exhibition halls themselves. Added to this the cost of a ticket on the Dubai Metro is less than the price of parking, and of course it makes total sense to use the Dubai Metro.
With the opening of the green line of the Dubai Metro, Union station has really become an important interchange point for those using the green and the red line to complete their journeys. Union station is one of two stations on the Dubai Metro that acts as an interchange, the other being Khaleed bin al Waleed station (Burjuman).
Like quite a few of the other stations there are some tasteful and locally inspired decorations in Union station, particularly on the platforms, although the design is not as ostentatious as that at Khalid bin al Waleed station with its complex and rather extravagant chandeliers.
Union Station is certainly one of the more functional stations of Dubai metro – there is a massive hall on the top floor that gives the impression it could cope with thousands of passengers during a busy rushhour and for a change in Dubai, the signage is pretty good to direct you to the right platform for your train.
Overall the station is very clean as per all of the Dubai metro stations and also is still waiting on a number of the shops to open that are positioned in the hall. Likely that will take a while to get them all occupied and busy enough to be viable.
The Dubai Metro is progressing as a great mode of public transport for anyone living or visiting Dubai. Hopefully as the number so passengers increase more of the lines that were planned will be put back on schedule for development in the coming years.